Balsall Common Festival helps local causes

Balsall Common Festival
Carl Stokes (John Shepherd Select and Select Lettings) – backed the Festival as Main Sponsor [image courtesy of Bill Fine]
The local community came together in unprecedented fashion on Saturday 20th September for the Balsall Common Festival, with approximately 4000 enjoying the party atmosphere across two sites during the day.


Residents took to the streets from around midday to witness around 475 runners, including former British Rugby Lion Tim Stimpson, participating in Balsall Common’s inaugural Fun Run. The crowds then flocked to The Lant for the fete, market and Party in the Park, complete with children’s activities and wide range of music and entertainment.
Continue reading “Balsall Common Festival helps local causes”

Balsall’s Got the Voice – Balsall Common Festival music talent contest

Balsall Common fete and Party in the Park - Main Sponsor 2013-14
Balsall Common fete and Party in the Park – Main Sponsor 2013-14




Balsall Common’s search for local music talent culminates with an impressive looking Finals Day at this year’s Balsall Common Festival on Saturday 20th September 2014:



Balsall’s Got the Voice – Music Talent Finals

Avion TSL - Festival Event Partner
Avion TSL – Festival Event Partner


Audio Visual Event Partner:


Venue: The Lant, Meeting House Lane, Balsall Common

Date: Saturday 20th September 2014


The Pop-Up Diner Arena, home of the Avion Stage on Festival day, is beginning to look a brilliant place to hang-out, courtesy of the music talent uncovered by the Festival team’s music talent search, ‘Balsall’s Got the Voice’.


The Avion Stage will host 10 finalists, after which a top 3 will perform head-to-head in a Grand Final for the chance to open the evening show on the Main Stage.


The competition has been stage-managed and MC’d by Yasmin Zahran, leader of local performing arts group Triple Fret and leading light at local theatre group Centre Stage.


The first round of competition at the Berkswell Royal British Legion on Friday 8th August 2014 unearthed the following gems, with more to follow from ensuing competition:


Meet the Contestants

Qualifying for finals day is still in progress. Meet the stars to qualify so far …


Alice Bennett


Alice Bennett
Alice Bennett

Now embarking on a 2nd year of English and Music study at Southampton University, our 1st round winner qualified for finals day with a delightful self-penned number and is well-known locally for her singing. Alice has been singing for as long as she can remember and has been performing in front of audiences since the age of 14, first through school, then with Centre Stage, highlights of which include her lead-role as Sarah in the Madness inspired musical ‘Our House’. This is Alice’s first experience of any form of public talent contest.





Paris Tredell


Paris Tredell
Paris Tredell

Self-styled country-pop singer with a golden voice. The 19 year old ex-Heart of England School pupil performed at Wembley Arena at a charity event in front of 14000 people in 2013, before suffering the heartbreak of a girl-band break-up under the glare of the X-Factor lights this summer. With her unquestionably skillful musicianship and ability to write compelling songs, Paris now has designs on recording her first solo album.


Paris qualified for the finals with an emotive piano and vocal rendition of her own original work, ‘Gotta Let Go’, a song she has already previously recorded in a studio under her stage name Paris Georgia:




Dylan Baldwin (aged 9)


Our youngest finalist stole the show and audience hearts in qualifying with his courageous rendition of OneRepublic’s epic single Counting Stars.



Eddie Dewey

Eddy Dewey (left)
Eddy Dewey (left)


Wooed the judges with his interpretation of Stars from West End Musical Les Miserables. Eddie is a member of Triple Fret’s performing arts group and is also a 2nd degree black-belt in Taekwon-Do.







Ben MacSkimming

Ben MacSkimming
Ben MacSkimming


Just starting a new phase of study at Heart of England Sixth Form, Ben already has 5 days of TV presenting under his belt with Barclays Bank and ITV to sit alongside his huge passion for music and theatre. Ben’s recent exploits include a stint as Kenickie in Grease and in addition to harbouring hopes to record his own covers album, also hopes to attend drama school in London.






Heather Foster



Not one to cave in to pressure, 16 year old Heather came into the qualifying competition off the back of her leading role in Miss Saigon at Solihull Arts Complex determined to perform a song she’d literally just composed on competition day. Her hastily drafted song, which required assembling from tiny bits of paper around her feet, in order to perform it … and Lily Allen-esque performance, complete with ukelele, justified the risk.




Richard Littlewood

Richard Littlewood
Richard Littlewood


30 year old Richard has an eclectic taste in music and has been playing guitar since he was 12. He is also known on the local music circuit as frontman and guitarist for Black Out Eden. Richard impressed the judges with his interpretation of Ellis Paul’s, The World Ain’t Slowing Down.





Watch out for details of qualifying Round 2 – coming soon!

Event organisers ar win the process of setting up qualifying round 2, details of which will be announced at soon.



Overall Winner to open evening show on the Main Stage

The overall winner of this year’s Balsall’s Got the Voice will open the evening show at Balsall Common Festival on the Main Stage.

Audio Visual will be supplied by Avion TSL
Audio Visual will be supplied by Avion TSL

Half-priced advanced tickets on sale now


Guarantee half-priced entry to the Balsall Common Festival by purchasing advanced ticket from official outlets:


Family £5 (£10 gate-fee)
Adult £2 (£5)
Child £1 (£2)


Balsall Common Pharmacy (open 7 days and 100 hours per week)
Angela Jaynes Florist




Cricket: Berkswell sprinkle stardust on Premier Division title race

Berkswell skipper Dominic Ostler stands inside the 'V' formed by team mates around him.  Team mates from left to right: Phil Neale; Tom Lewis; Nick James; Mark Best; James Neale; Tom Milnes; Chris Cheslin; Dave Brignull; Darren Maddy.
Berkswell skipper Dominic Ostler stands inside the ‘V’ formed by team mates around him. Team mates from left to right: Phil Neale; Tom Lewis; Nick James; Mark Best; James Neale; Tom Milnes; Chris Cheslin; Dave Brignull; Darren Maddy.

A star-studded Berkswell side containing two former internationals went clear at the top of the Premier Division of the world-famous Birmingham & District League at Meeting House Lane yesterday, despite their game being abandoned due to rain, thanks to bonus points earned whilst dominating their top of the table clash against visitors West Bromwich.


Berkswell now stand alone at the head of a league that boasts the best club sides from across Warwickshire, The West Midlands, Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Shropshire.


Berkswell’s official scorer Trevor Jordan reports on yesterday’s abandoned game:

Birmingham and District Premier League – Premier Division

Berkswell 80-0 (9 points) v West Bromwich Dartmouth 117 all out (5 points) – (Match abandoned)


Continue reading “Cricket: Berkswell sprinkle stardust on Premier Division title race”

Balsall Common Festival preview – Saturday 20th September 2014

Balsall Common fete and Party in the Park - Main Sponsor 2013-14
Balsall Common fete and Party in the Park – Main Sponsor 2013-14


The 2014 Festival on Saturday 20th September 2014 promises to be the biggest and best ever:


Running Order (all bookings and timings subject to change)


Fun Run (5k/10k)- Heart of England School

12:00 noon – Fun Run starts – Heart of England School

Main Showground – The Lant

12:30pm – Main Festival Showground opens – The Lant (Meeting House Lane)

Our superb audio visual set  will be delivered once again by Event Partners Avion TSL
Our superb audio visual set will be delivered once again by Event Partners Avion TSL

Main Stage

12:30-13:00 Liam Sawyer – Balsall Common Radio Roadshow
13:00–13:20 Positive Fitness
13:40-14:00 Karl Loxley
14:00-14:20 Official Opening (Lord Mayor) & Fun Run Awards Ceremony
15:45-16:05 Giocoso Saxophone Quartet
17:00-17:10 Balsall’s Got the Voice – Winner’s presentation and performance
17:15–18:00 Andy Bennett (of Ocean Colour Scene repute)
18:00-18:15 Karl Loxley/DJ

Main Stage (Nailcote Hall evening session)

Entertainments Event Partner - Nailcote Hall
Entertainments Event Partner – Nailcote Hall

18:15-19:00 Briefcase Blues Brothers
19:15-20:00 Covers Band
20:15–21:00 Addicted to 80’s

Main Arena

13:20-13:40 Animated Dance
14:20-14:40 Mogz & Dogz – dog demonstration
14:45–15:15 Centre Stage – “The Bodenham Romp“
15:20–15:40 Tae-kwondo demonstration with GTUK
16:10-16:40 Centre Stage – “The Bodenham Romp”

Avion Stage & Pop-Up Diner Arena

Avion TSL - Festival Event Partner
Avion TSL – Festival Event Partner

14:15–14:45 Balsall’s Got the Voice – Semi-Finals (session 1)
15:00-15:20 Giocoso Saxophone Quartet
15:25-15:55 Balsall’s Got the Voice – Semi-Finals (session 2)
15:55–16:15 Karl Loxley
16:20-16:40 Balsall’s Got the Voice – Final (Top 3 acts)

Mini Fun Run Arena – The Lant

15:00 – Years 1 & 2
15:15 – Years 3 & 4
15:30 – Years 5 & 6

Other arena

1:00pm Heart of England Aeromodellers
3:00pm Dog Show – courtesy of Mogz & Dogz

Kidzone (Marquee sponsored by Balsall Common Bouncy Castles)

Interactive sessions

1:30pm GTUK – Tae Kwon Do
2:00pm Wiggle Waggle
2:30pm GTUK – Tae Kwon Do
3:20pm Toddler Sense
4:00pm Wiggle Waggle
4:30pm Toddler Sense

Face painters – all day


Spire Parkway Hospital VIP and Healthcare Marquee

Spire Parkway Hospital - VIP & Healthcare Partner
Spire Parkway Hospital – VIP & Healthcare Partner





Balsall Common Bouncy Castles are one of our key Event Partners and generous supplier of our Kidzone Marquee and other large marquees on the grounds on Festival Day:





Tennis Courts

Court 1 – Adults 16 and overs

1:30 Cardio Tennis
2:00 Ball machine
2:30 Rusty Rackets
3:00 Ball machine
3:30 Cardio tennis

Court 2 – Juniors

1:30 – 4:00pm 4 x red courts with the coach organising free play


Balsall Common Bouncy Castles are the generous supplier of a number of marquees for Balsall Common Festival 2014:



Return of the Big Stage


The big stage returns again in 2014 courtesy of Event Partners Avion TSL:


Entertainment and Attractions

• Senior Fun Run (Heart of England School) – Lily Mae Foundation)
• Mini Fun Runs (The Lant – Lily Mae Foundation)
• 2 entertainment stages
• Local Music Talent Contest Finals
• Live Music (Andy Bennett from Ocean Colour Scene; Briefcase Blues Brothers; covers band; 80s section)
• Sports
• Fete and Market (with an allocation of 50 pitches fully subscribed)
• Children’s Entertainment
• Bouncy Castle and Children’s Rides
• Paddy Doyle World Record Challenge (subject to World Record body approval)
• Dog Show (Mogz and Dogz)
• Competitions
• Grand Raffle
• Traditional Festival Refreshments
• Licensed premises
• Barbecue
• Hot and cold food



Chairman’s Message

Craig Burgess
Craig Burgess – Festival Chairman


“We’re building on the success of last year’s event, to deliver a similar format, but bigger and better with more stuff, which means more live music, more attractions, competitions, prizes and things to do, to keep everyone entertained.”


“In keeping with our motto, ‘By the Community for the Community’, we have a fantastic cross-community team working on making the Festival a success. One of our early decisions back in January was to look at ways of weather-proofing what is an outdoor event, by staging activities which will happen come-what-may, should the weather prove less than kind on the day. One of our solutions was to stage a Fun Run and the Trustees of The Lily Mae Foundation are doing a superb job leading the effort to deliver Balsall Common’s inaugural Fun Run.”


Craig Burgess, Chairman.


Get all the Latest information on Social Media


Social Media users can enjoy event updates and photos from previous year’s events. You can visit and ‘Like’ the Facebook page, or follow the dedicated Twitter account:


Get Involved!



Balsall Common Fun Run


The Fun Run will take place on Saturday 20th September, with a start/finish line at Heart of England School, and is currently set to allow runners 5k or 10k options.

Festival Chairman Craig Burgess explains:

“Our Fun Run is being led by Balsall Common based charity The Lily Mae Foundation. The Fun Run for older participants will start and finish on the playing fields at the Heart of England School, while mini-Fun Runs for Primary School children will take place on the main Festival show ground at The Lant on Meeting House Lane from 3pm.”


The Lily Mae Foundation have put in an enormous amount of work behind the scenes to make our first ever Balsall Common Fun Run a reality and deserve an enormous amount of credit. As a team we’re all really excited about bringing something new to the village.”


Event organisers are keen to point out this year’s undertaking would be impossible without the advanced backing of community-minded business owners. Major backers for the Fun Run include Unity (formerly Carstins) and Main Fun Run sponsor Hollywood Monster.


You can enter Balsall Common’s inaugural Fun Run here:


Advertising Partner – Acorn Printing

Acorn Printing Ltd
Acorn Printing Ltd

The Festival’s Main Advertising Partner this year is Acorn Printing, specialists in embroidery and print services, from branded gear and promotional equipment to banners and signs. No job too big or small.


Acorn Printing has its’ heart in the community, having started life in Balsall Common before relocating to an industrial estate next to Tile Hill station after they outgrew their village centre premises in 2008.




Discount tickets on sale for Balsall Common’s Party in the Park


Residents of Balsall Common can take advantage of discount prices for this Saturday’s Balsall Common fete and Party in the Park at Meeting House Lane, by purchasing advanced tickets at local stores, for an event which promises 8 hours of entertainment and live music, alongside in excess of 50 stalls.


Official stockists


Oakes Farm Shop, Balsall Street
Balsall Common Pharmacy, Station Road (open 6am – 9pm)
Bengal Brasserie, Kenilworth Road
The Lant Sports Club, Meeting House Lane (bar opening hours only)


Ticket Pricing

Tickets offer excellent value for money for the amount of entertainment on offer, at an event which aims to raise money for local causes:


Advance: Child £1; Adult £2; Family £5
On the Gate: Child £2; Adult £3; Family £8


Notes: Under 2s go FREE; child tickets are for ages 2-15; adults 16 yrs upwards. Family tickets are sold without a strict upper limit on family-size, the main idea is to bring the community together.


Balsall Common fete and Party in the Park – Event information


Date: Saturday 28th September 2013
Venue: The Lant Community Sports Ground*, Meeting House Lane Balsall Common
Starts: 1pm
Ends: 9pm


Event highlights and timetable